2011 NFL Draft: Updated Top 50 Big Board

Mike Foster@michaelsfosterCorrespondent IMarch 28, 2011

2011 NFL Draft: Updated Top 50 Big Board

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    With the 2011 NFL Draft now exactly a month away and many individual workouts completed, our perception of who's best, who's worst, who's falling off and who's rising to the top has shifted ever so slightly.

    Some prospects who looked like gold in the fall may not be in the best standing as of now, and many diamonds in the rough have emerged.

    So how does the Top 50 Big Board look with four weeks until the big day?

    Take a look.

No. 50: Jon Baldwin, Receiver

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    School: Pittsburgh (Junior)

    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 230 lbs.

    Baldwin has the prototype frame for an NFL receiver and could even be a tight end at the next level, but he has some fundamentals to iron out.

    He's an acrobatic player who is a jump-ball winner, and is a one-on-one matchup nightmare for cornerbacks.

    However, Baldwin has past character issues that need to be addressed.

No. 49: Andy Dalton, Quarterback

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    School: Texas Christian (redshirt Senior)

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 215 lbs.

     Andy Dalton was never considered a big-time draft prospect during his days at TCU, but he was considered a winner—and proved to be one on a consistent basis, as he led his Horned Frogs to two-straight BCS bowl game appearances out of the Mountain West Conference.

    He'd always been considered small, but his height and weight check out enough for NFL standards if you ask most. He doesn't have a rocket arm, but it's good enough and should combine well with his accuracy.

    He's a smart player and a winner. 

No. 48: Marvin Austin, Defensive Tackle

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    School: North Carolina (Senior)

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 309 lbs.

    Austin was considered one of the top high school prospects in the country just four years ago, but his stock dipped drastically after getting into serious trouble for violating NCAA rules. Not only did Austin miss the entire 2010 season, but he was kicked off of the team.

    In his junior year, Austin was outstanding and helped anchor a very strong defense. He was a second-team All-ACC member in 2009.

    He's definitely going to give the team that drafts him some serious talent, but can he give them the character?

No. 47: Jerrel Jernigan, Receiver

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    School: Troy State (Senior)

    Height: 5'9"

    Weight: 185 lbs.

    Jernigan wasn't the most widely known player in college football in the last four years, playing for Troy in the Sun Belt Conference, which rarely gets any type of media attention.

    But the young utility player finished his career as one of the prized athletes in Troy's history, which has featured some pretty solid NFL talent in the past decade or so.

    Jernigan is a physical player for his size and makes a continuous effort to produce yards after the catch. He played an offensive specialist role in college, but should easily fit into an offense or special teams unit at the next level.

No. 46: Rodney Hudson, Center/Guard

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    School: Florida State (Senior)

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 300 lbs.

    Hudson is considered the best true center in the draft pool and could even play guard at the next level.

    He earned All-American status as a junior and was equally effective in his senior season. Hudson is somewhat undersized, especially in the height category, but his mental toughness—proven by the fact that he only allowed 1.5 sacks and one penalty in 2010—cannot be overlooked.

No. 45: Leonard Hankerson, Receiver

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    School: Miami (Fla.) (Senior)

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 210 lbs.

    Leonard Hankerson was a highly regarded talent coming out of high school and failed under the pressure to perform as a freshman with the Hurricanes.

    But he turned his rep around for the better in 2009 and 2010, finishing his senior season with 72 receptions for 1,156 yards and 13 touchdown grabs.

    Hankerson's statistics were mightily impressive. He has a good physical presence and ran a fast 40-yard dash at 4.4 seconds.

No. 44: Ryan Williams, Tailback

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    School: Virginia Tech (Redshirt Sophomore)

    Height: 5'9"

    Weight: 210 lbs.

    Williams is one of the more interesting stories of the draft. He missed nearly half of the 2010 season to injury and put up just modest rushing numbers in a backfield full of talent.

    But with two years left of opportunity to have All-ACC-type seasons, it baffled many to see Williams elect for the NFL draft so early.

    He's a great runner who apparently has all of the tools, but he has a lot to prove.

No. 43: Stephen Paea, Defensive Tackle

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    School: Oregon State (Redshirt Senior)

    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 300 lbs.

    Stephen Paea is the most anatomically intriguing draft prospect in this year's class. He's built like a bowling ball and doesn't necessarily scream "prospect."

    But he's a very, very good defensive tackle in a tackle group full of out-of-this-world talent.

    He's great against the run, but has never been a notable pass rusher. 

No. 42: Kyle Rudolph, Tight End

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    School: Notre Dame (Junior)

    Height: 6'6"

    Weight: 260 lbs.

    This year's tight end class is not very deep.

    It's so thin, in fact, that Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph opted out of his senior year in South Bend despite missing numerous games over the past few seasons.

    He's a tall, athletic receiver-like player who demands a lot of attention. Whichever team needs a tight end is going to go after him immediately, so Rudolph should feel very comfortable with his decision.

No. 41: Ryan Mallett, Quarterback

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    School: Arkansas (redshirt Junior)

    Height: 6'7"

    Weight: 250 lbs.

    Ryan Mallett was considered the top quarterback prospect in the country at the start of the 2010 season. Pundits claimed he would be a top-10 pick if he chose to forgo his senior year and go pro.

    Well, a lot has changed since then. Mallett had another good year throwing the football, but he flopped in the Sugar Bowl—missing numerous throws and showing signs of inconsistency while under pressure.

    He has a release that needs to be tightened, apparent accuracy issues to clean up and a foggy off-field history.

    But he's still a prototypical quarterback. His "issues" could be easily cleaned up, and he could turn up to be one of the better young guns in the NFL.

No. 40: Martez Wilson, Middle Linebacker

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    School: Illinois (Redshirt Junior)

    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 250 lbs.

    A fan favorite at Illinois during his tenure, Martez Wilson might be a bigger name in college football had he chosen a more prominent school like Notre Dame or Miami coming out of high school.

    Instead, he stayed in-state and had a heck of a career despite becoming more of an unknown.

    He has great size and runs a very fast 40 time at around 4.5 seconds.

No. 39: Mikel LeShoure, Tailback

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    School: Illinois (Junior)

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 227 lbs.

    LeShoure was considered the top running back prospect by some just weeks ago. However, a rather slow 40-yard dash time and a heavier-than-expected frame hurt his draft stock.

    Still, he was an All-American in his junior season, rushing for over 1,600 yards and scoring 17 touchdowns.

    His yards-per-carry average was also outstanding at 6.0.

No. 38: Jabaal Sheard, Defensive End

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    School: Pittsburgh (Senior)

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 260 lbs.

    Entering 2010, all of the hype surrounding the Pittsburgh Panthers defensive front involved the name of All-Big East end Greg Romeus.

    But with Romeus missing numerous games this fall due to injury, Sheard took on the spotlight and did not disappoint. 

    He recorded 52 tackles and nine sacks as a senior. The red flag on him, however, is an arrest from this past summer.

No. 37: Aaron Williams, Cornerback

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    School: Texas (Junior)

    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 195 lbs.

    A staple defensive back for the Longhorns since 2008, Williams garnered much experience in Austin and is considered more than NFL-ready.

    He has good size and defends the pass very well. He did not record a single interception in 2010 but still managed to deflect and defend most balls that were thrown his way.

    His 40 time of 4.5 was nothing to write home about, but he's certainly quick enough to compete at the next level.

No. 36: Torrey Smith, Receiver

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    School: Maryland (Redshirt junior)

    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 204 lbs.

    Smith might be considered the best receiver in any other year's draft class, but with prodigies A.J. Green and Julio Jones heading for the big leagues, Smith stands as a second-tier prospect.

    You have to kid yourself not to like this guy. Smith reminds a lot of people of Roddy White; he creates separation very well and runs well, but needs to refine his route-running at the next level.  

No. 35: Danny Watkins, Guard

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    School: Baylor (Senior)

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 310 lbs.

    Watkins took a road less traveled to the ranks of an NFL draft prospect.

    He played football for the first time just three years ago as an experiment and ended up switching from the JUCO ranks to Baylor University to play the game, despite his lack of experience.

    Watkins then took over at guard and ended up as an All-Big 12 player by the end of his career.

    He's old, at 26 years of age, but shouldn't scare off too many scouts who are worried about a shorter career. 

No. 34: Brandon Harris, Cornerback

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    School: Miami (Fla.) (Junior)

    Height: 5'10"

    Weight: 190 lbs.

    Harris racked up 48 tackles and just one interception in his junior season with the 'Canes, but his production as a sophomore (52 tackles, three interceptions) cannot be overlooked.

    He's not a huge guy, but he covers very, very well.

    Harris was a two-time All-ACC player at Miami (FL).

No. 33: Akeem Ayers, Outside Linebacker

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    School: UCLA (Redshirt Junior)

    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 250 lbs.

    Ayers is built like a defensive end, which was the position he was recruited for coming out of high school.

    With the NFL currently in a state of being 3-4 happy, Ayers appears to be a solid outside linebacker prospect for this year's draft.

    He finished 2010 with 68 tackles, four sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles. Basically, he's proven to be a game-changer. 

No. 32: Randall Cobb, Receiver

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    School: Kentucky (Junior)

    Height: 5'10"

    Weight: 190 lbs.

    Cobb was an offensive machine at Kentucky, competing against the highest quality defensive players in the SEC.

    But his lack of positional standardization makes him a questionable and mysterious draft prospect, which has resulted in a medium-ranged stock.

    Most believe Cobb will play receiver at the next level, but he might be even more valuable as a punt returner or an "offensive specialist."

No. 31: Derek Sherrod, Offensive Tackle

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    School: Mississippi State (Senior)

    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 321 lbs.

    Sherrod should be a second-round lock. He's just flat-out as solid as they come at offensive tackle.

    He's a fantastic pass blocker and a pretty good run blocker. He could use a little refinement and some fundamental tuning, but overall, he's built too well to overlook in this year's draft.

    Whoever gets him will have a project player with tons of potential. 

No. 30: Muhammad Wilkerson, Defensive Tackle

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    School: Temple (Junior)

    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 315 lbs.

    In a draft class stock full of defensive tackles, it's been difficult for Muhammad Wilkerson to gain national recognition.

    Coming from a MAC school, Wilkerson has been under the shadows but has still put up gaudy numbers. 

    He's an athletic prospect who played football and basketball in high school. He recorded 70 tackles and 9.5 sacks in 2010, earning a spot on the All-MAC team.

No. 29: Phil Taylor, Defensive Tackle

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    Team: Baylor (Redshirt Senior)

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 334 lbs.

    Taylor was a highly recruited prospect out of high school and originally played at Penn State before transferring after a fighting incident in Happy Valley.

    At Baylor, he was impressive enough in his senior season to draw the attention of most scouts, who should forgive his past incident in the wake of his prototypical build.

No. 28: Corey Liuget, Defensive Tackle

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    School: Illinois (Junior)

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 298 lbs.

    Another highly touted guy within a deep group of defensive tackles, Corey Liuget might be one of the more underrated prospects in the draft class.

    He's relatively small for his position, but he's a versatile athlete who could switch to defensive end at the next level, if needed.

    He has a low center of gravity and good athleticism, but didn't have the benefit of serious playing time with the Illini.

No. 27: Justin Houston, Outside Linebacker

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    School: Georgia (Redshirt Junior)

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 270 lbs.

    Justin Houston is a perfect prospect for a 3-4 team looking for an outside linebacker. He also might very well have a future as a defensive end in a conventional system.

    Houston was a stat machine with Georgia in 2009 and 2010, with a total of 17.5 sacks. He creates chaos in opponent backfields.

    The one thing that might be an area of concern is his ability to play against the pass. 

No. 26: Jimmy Smith, Cornerback

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    School: Colorado (Redshirt Senior)

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 211 lbs.


    Smith is as experienced as they come and has the physical tools to match.

    He's tall and physically stout for a cornerback, and runs with great speed. Opponents wouldn't dare throw to his side of the field in 2010, but he still managed 70 tackles and five pass breakups.

    Some are even going as far as to compare him to Champ Bailey—which might just be some Colorado-based bias, but it sure is quite the compliment.

No. 25: Cameron Heyward, Defensive End

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    School: Ohio State (Senior)

    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 290 lbs.

    Heyward's production dropped slightly from 2009 to 2010, but his versatility makes him a very inviting prospect.

    He has the ability to play at multiple positions on the defensive front, which makes him a potential draft pick for a 3-4 or 4-3 team.

    He only recorded 3.5 sacks in 2010, but his overall game is solid.

No. 24: Christian Ponder, Quarterback

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    School: Florida State (Redshirt Senior)

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 225 lbs.

    Ponder wasn't considered in the same class as Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert, but his stock has driven upward at an alarming rate since the culmination of the season.

    He excelled in the Senior Bowl practices, as well as the game, which helped back up what was a solid and overlooked career at Florida State.

    He completed 62 percent of his passes in 2010 for 20 touchdowns and just eight interceptions.

No. 23: Jake Locker, Quarterback

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    School: Washington (Redshirt Senior)

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 231 lbs.

    Locker has all of the physical tools to be the poster child of an NFL draft class, but he never proved to be a winner or a comfortable quarterback while playing his college ball in Seattle.

    He's got a strong arm and fantastic speed, but he's never been a solid performer under pressure. He needs to develop more of a pocket presence if he wants a shot at the next level.

No. 22: Nate Solder, Offensive Tackle

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    School: Colorado (Redshirt Senior)

    Height: 6'8"

    Weight: 320 lbs.

    Solder is a dominating prospect. Physically, he's everything you want and then some. Not very often do you find football players taller than 6'6". At 6'8", Solder towers at his position and makes life for defensive linemen very difficult.

    He isn't quite as wide as scouts want him to be, but he could easily add pounds to his frame. And his numbers from the weight room assure that his somewhat slimmer build is full of muscle.

No. 21: Gabe Carimi, Offensive Tackle

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    School: Wisconsin (Redshirt Senior)

    Height: 6'7"

    Weight: 315 lbs.

    Carimi has been auditioning for the left tackle position, which will serve as the biggest gauge as to whether or not his draft stock increases or stays stagnant.

    According to sources, Carimi has worked out at left tackle with ease and should translate well from the other tackle position.

    He's versatile, big, smart and might even be interchangeable with the other offensive tackles who rank ahead of him.

No. 20: Aldon Smith, Outside Linebacker

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    School: Missouri (Redshirt Sophomore)

    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 260 lbs.

    Smith only played nine games in 2010 but still managed to become a first-team All-Big 12 member.

    He recorded 48 tackles and 5.5, sacks and excelled against the Oklahoma Sooners to gain serious recognition.

    He's a raw talent and leaving so early in his career might be risky, but his physical athleticism appears ripe and ready to take on the NFL.

No. 19: Mike Pouncey, Center/Guard

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    School: Florida (Senior)

    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 300 lbs.

    Pouncey received a lot of criticism in 2010 because of struggles he had playing the center position. However, Pouncey was moved into that role with a vote of confidence from the coaching staff, and NFL scouts know that his "struggles" were completely understandable and won't affect his ranking.

    He's still a wonderfully gifted athlete and a top guard prospect. If he's anywhere near as good and valuable as his brother, he will be a first-day pick.

No. 18: Adrian Clayborn, Defensive End

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    School: Iowa (Redshirt Senior)

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 281 lbs.

    Clayborn was voted an All-American and All-Big Ten performer despite having a down year in 2010. He only recorded 3.5 sacks as a rush end, prompting much head-scratching from fans and pundits alike.

    However, Clayborn's inconsistencies can't overshadow just how dominating he was in his junior season. He is an obvious talent and will either be a first-round pick or second-round selection.

    He does have a few character issues to address, though.

No. 17: Ryan Kerrigan, Defensive End

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    School: Purdue (Senior)

    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 260 lbs.

    To this day, Kerrigan's 2009 season still blows minds. He managed to record 70 tackles—26 in the backfield—and 12.5 sacks.

    Those freakish numbers have earned him the label of being one of the best defensive players in this year's draft class.

    Kerrigan can play the run and rush the quarterback, making him the most inviting prospect for a team looking for a pure 4-3 defensive end.

No. 16: Tyron Smith, Offensive Tackle

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    School: Southern California (Junior)

    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 285 lbs.

    Smith is raw and doesn't have tons of experience to back up his decision to leave a year early for the draft, but his prototypical build and skills make him too attractive of a pick to denounce.

    He will need to prove his versatility and fundamentals if he wants to be considered a first-round draft pick. 

No. 15: J.J. Watt, Defensive End

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    School: Wisconsin (Redshirt Junior)

    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 290 lbs.

    J.J. Watt is an interesting story. He played tight end productively for Central Michigan, but still decided to transfer to play for Wisconsin.

    He was such a scout team star that he was rewarded a scholarship and the opportunity to start for the Badgers. He started all 13 games as a defensive end, recording 44 tackles (15 in the backfield).

    Watt is smart, physical and has the versatility to play outside, or even possibly inside. Both 3-4 and 4-3 teams could use his services.

No. 14: Anthony Castonzo, Offensive Tackle

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    School: Boston College (Senior)

    Height: 6'7"

    Weight: 311 lbs.

    Castonzo is another prototypical gem. He has the perfect size and ability to be a dominating offensive lineman at the next level.

    He started his career as a mid-level talent but continued to improve game after game during his tenure in Boston.

    A first-round pick is definitely a possibility for Castonzo.

No. 13: Cameron Jordan, Defensive End

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    School: California (Senior)

    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 285 lbs.

    Cameron Jordan was an All-Pac-10 performer in 2010 with 62 tackles (12.5 for loss) and 5.5 sacks.

    He's a 3-4-friendly player who has all of the tools needed to excel at either the down position or standing up as a rush end.

    He played as a defensive end in the 3-4 at California and still succeeded, proving his versatility to scouts.

No. 12: Robert Quinn, Defensive End

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    School: North Carolina (Junior)

    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 265 lbs.

    Quinn, like his teammate Marvin Austin, missed the entire 2010 campaign because of a suspension following NCAA rules violations.

    Quinn is just another foggy case of someone who might appear to have more character issues than they really do. 

    He was a great on-the-field performer, though, and made a living with his quick burst off the ball. He needs to refine his skills to become a complete lineman, but his pass rush ability is top-notch.

No. 11: Mark Ingram, Tailback

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    School: Alabama (Junior)

    Height: 5'9"

    Weight: 215 lbs.

    The former Heisman Trophy winner was a little bit more quiet in 2010 than 2009, but still managed to put up solid numbers while sharing time with Trent Richardson.

    Ingram made himself known as a bruiser at Alabama who could take on defenders between the tackles, but it's his apparent burst of speed that makes him such an attractive prospect.

    With Mikel LeShoure's draft stock plummeting, Ingram now is considered the top running back in this year's class.

    Even though he's leaving school a year early, he's proven to have the character, maturity and toughness to take it to the next level.

No. 10: Blaine Gabbert, Quarterback

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    School: Missouri (Junior)

    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 234 lbs.

    If you are looking for the prototypical, conventional quarterback, Blaine Gabbert is your man.

    Many are comparing him to Sam Bradford and think that he will transfer into the NFL out of that wide-open offense with the ease that Bradford did.

    Some even consider Gabbert as this year's top draft pick, but in this list, he'll take a humbling seat behind another prospect.

No. 9: Cam Newton, Quarterback

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    School: Auburn (Redshirt Junior)

    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 250 lbs.

    Yes, Cam Newton was erratic during the NFL scouting combine. And, yes, Newton has a past of off-field issues.

    Many are looking at Newton's resume and cringing at the sight of a stolen laptop incident and a play-to-pay scandal.

    But what might be getting overlooked in this hooplah is the fact that Cameron Newton stayed focused despite the array of distractions and took a previously mediocre Auburn team to a national championship game—and won it.

    If you want to talk about a guy with mental toughness, look no further. He might need a talking-to about maturity, but his talents and proven ability to endure should lift him to the top of this year's quarterback group.

    He has a rocket arm, great running ability and a youthful vibrancy about him. And, he cleaned up his combine mistakes with a solid workout at Auburn. 

No. 8: Von Miller, Outside Linebacker

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    School: Texas A&M (Junior)

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 246 lbs.

    If you want to find an athletic freak, look no further than TAMU's Von Miller.

    Miller is a good-sized linebacker with great speed for his position, clocking a 4.4 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine.

    He's considered a one-dimensional, straight-line pass rusher, but he's so good in that area that many still consider him the best linebacker in this year's class.

    He won the Butkus Award in 2010, given to the nation's best linebacker. 

No. 7: Julio Jones, Receiver

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    School: Alabama (Junior)

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 220 lbs.

    Julio Jones raised a ton of eyebrows during workouts, running an outstanding 4.34 40-yard dash, which seemed impossible for a man of his size.

    The last big-time receiver to impress like that was Calvin Johnson, who has a similar amount of bulk.

    Jones was never the center of Alabama's offense, but he made plenty of impressive plays during his career with the Crimson Tide, including the amazing one-handed catch he had against San Jose State earlier this year.

    He's big and physical, but also faster than most people thought.

No. 6: Prince Amukamara, Cornerback

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    School: Nebraska (Senior)

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 200 lbs.

    An All-American cornerback in 2010, Amukamara recorded 59 tackles, a sack and defended 13 passes.

    He's another cornerback who struggled to get interceptions, but that should only tell scouts how terrified opponents are of throwing his way.

    Amukamara is smart, physically gifted and apparently very, very fast (ran a 4.38).

No. 5: A.J. Green, Receiver

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    School: Georgia (Junior)

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 205 lbs.

    Maybe the most athletically gifted man in the draft—and the most athletically gifted receiver since Calvin Johnson—A.J. Green is a sure top-10 pick, if not top five.

    He's faced some controversy this offseason. Green had one of the lowest Wonderlic scores at 10 but blamed it on not finishing the test because he thought too hard.

    That might be a good explanation, considering Green was a man who preached academics while in college (despite leaving for the NFL a year early). 

    He actually is smart, does have high-standing character, and is what quarterbacks would consider a ball magnet. His acrobatic ability to go up and catch just about anything within an arm's radius makes him a sure top pick.

No. 4: Da'Quan Bowers, Defensive End

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    School: Clemson (Junior)

    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 280 lbs.

    After underachieving for the first two years of his career despite being the top recruit for the Tigers, Bowers replenished his draft stock by having an insane 2010.

    He had 15.5 sacks and 25 tackles in the backfield, earning him All-American honors and the Bronko Nagurski award.

    He's a proven run stopper and pass rusher. You can't miss picking him up.

No. 3: Nick Fairley, Defensive Tackle

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    School: Auburn (Senior)

    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 291 lbs.

    Fairley looks a lot bigger than his specs at 291 pounds, but that might just be because he's such a dominating interior force.

    He was just as much of a friendly surprise for Auburn that Cam Newton was, despite quickly becoming the most hated player in the SEC by opposing teams.

    Criticized for being somewhat of a dirty player, Fairley has still shown enough solid character attributes to erase any thoughts of him being any type of locker room issue.

No. 2: Patrick Peterson, Cornerback

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    School: Louisiana State (Junior)

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 220 lbs.

    Patrick Peterson appears to be the perfect prospect. He's big enough to handle plays around the line of scrimmage but fast enough to handle the best of NFL receivers.

    As a matter of fact, he posted an astonishing 4.31 40-yard dash time at the NFL scouting combine.

    Not only was Peterson a shutdown corner during his career at LSU, but he was also just as exciting at punt and kickoff returns, where he could excel at the next level as well.

No. 1: Marcell Dareus. Defensive Tackle

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    School: Alabama (Junior)

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 320 lbs.

    Dareus has climbed many draft boards, getting to the top five in most, thanks to a very impressive combine performance.

    And, his character appears to be perfect—good enough to make him a locker room leader as well as an overall stand-up performer on and off the field.

    He's bigger than Fairley and definitely athletic. Many keep citing the spin move he put on Texas in the 2009-10 National Championship Game as evidence of how athletic he really is.

    He will thrive as a tackle or end in a 4-3 scheme and could play end in the 3-4, but he struggled to dominate at the nose position in Alabama's scheme.

    But he erased scouts' memories by getting the most out of his workout opportunities and interviews in the past few months.